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Out Home

John Madson

Publication Year: 2008

Long out of print, Out Home is the first published collection of naturalist and conservationist John Madson’s essays. Written between 1961 and 1977 for such venues as Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, Audubon, and Guns and Ammo, the twenty-one essays and one poem in this classic volume focus on game and nongame animals and the people who love them and their outdoor world. Madson writes of hunting and wildlife management, the tricks of whitetail and cottontail, the bewildering interactions of pheasants with their harsh winter world, the cliff-nesting geese of the Missouri River, biscuits and gravy and stories shared around campfires with friends and family, and the great seasonal migrations of geese and cranes.
     Writing always with the knowledge that he was witnessing the end of the wilderness, of the outdoor home that nourished him, Madson brings a brilliant energy to these tough, unsentimental tales. “A strong place puts a mark on all that lives there, and the mark may outlast the place itself. Prairie people are like their western meadowlarks, seeming to be the same as their eastern relatives, but with a different song.” In his song about the “play of wind on tallgrasses, with the land running beneath a towering sky,” we hear the voice that went on to give us the magic of Where the Sky Began.
     Editor Michael McIntosh, one of the nation’s foremost experts on shotguns, has written a short introduction to this first paperback edition of these ageless wilderness tales.

Published by: University of Iowa Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. ix-xii

This book began, as many good things do, in the spring. And it began out home-deep in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, in a turkey camp on a pine ridge just shouting distance from Muddy Creek...

Part I: Out Home

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Going Out More

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pp. 3-10

OUR STATE CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT once made a special survey of hunters and what made them tick. About the only thing I can remember about it is....

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An Outdoor Ledger

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pp. 11-14

THE YEARS AFIELD HAVE led me to discard many of the things that I've been told about the outdoors in general and hunting in particular, and it sometimes...

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Dallas Morgan and the Lion

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pp. 15-30

WE WERE IN ELK CAMP WITH night coming on and the young bull of the afternoon was quartered and hung in the quakers behind the...

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Palace in the Popple

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pp. 31-32

It's a smoky, raunchy boars' nest With an unswept, drafty floor And pillowticking curtains...

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The Secret Life of the Cottontail Deer

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pp. 33-40

IF THERE'S ANYTHING DULL ABOUT A WHITETAIL DEER, I don't know it. I like everything about him. His biology is fascinating. So is his management, his history, and the old legends and grandpa...

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The Bum Husband

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pp. 41-42

THIS IS BEING WRITTEN on Valentine's Day when I often repent my I flaws as a marital partner. By the time you've read it, my conscience...

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The Passing of Little Sam

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pp. 43-44

IT WAS A GOOD YEAR FOR RABBIT PRODUCTION. It's a for hunting. rabbits around are safer and has its Little He was a scruffy, thicket-torn little beagle that owned my was small John's hunting...

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Pheasants Beyond Autumn

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pp. 45-54

THERE IS A DICHOTOMY in pheasant hunting, as in any hunting that is worth doing. There are sets of paired contrasts: two...

Part II: Under the Sun, by the Side of the Wind

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Message from a Desert Island

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pp. 57-66

HORN ISLAND. desert islands go, this place is just right. It hangs out the blue thirteen miles Biloxi-far enough from the mainland to discourage Sunday boaters but close...

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Requiem for a Small River

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pp. 67-72

WE GREW UP ON THE BEST PART OF THE RIVER, where the North Fork of the Skunk, also called the Cha-Ca-Gua, began to break out of the terminal moraine of the last glacial advance into central...

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The Running Country

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pp. 73-92

LIEUTENANT COLONEL STEPHEN KEARNY'S ORDERS were clear: proceed northwest into the Iowa wilderness with a unit of cavalry and survey the Des Moines Riveer for possible fort sites.

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The Prairie Blizzard

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pp. 93-102

IN THE MID-1850s, WITH ALL THAT EMPTY PRAIRIE, west of the Mississippi and all those full purses east of the Ohio, land promoters soared to heights of commercial...

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Where the River Fits the Song

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pp. 103-122

THERE'S A CERTAIN TIME, EARLY IN SPRING, when I begin feeling the pull of the river. It always comes when the willow slaps are greening up near Portage des Sioux, and the geese have gone on...

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The High Beyond

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pp. 123-124

THIS MOUNTAIN COUNTRY EXPANDS AND INTENSIFIES many things that men love and dread in the outdoors. It's a land of heroic exaggeration where you can breathe more and get less air, walk...

Part III: Old Friends

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Giants in the Cliffs

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pp. 127-138

IT BEGINS, SAY, ABOUT A HUNDRED MILES UPSTREAM from St. Louis, high in a limestone wall that rises two hundred feet above the rolling There is a low crevice that extends several yards back into the...

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The Dance on Monkey Mountain

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pp. 139-154

ON MY EDGE OF THE PAVEMENT a road-killed fox was being attended by a pair of crows. There was oncoming traffic and I was unable to swerve, and the wheels...

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Day of the Crane

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pp. 155-158

THE PLATTE IS A CRANE RIVER-a mile wide, an inch deep, and tall with birds. Flowing across Nebraska, it is a wild corridor of sandbars and shallows-a broad prairie stream designed by...

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North Again

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pp. 159-176

EARLY MARCH ON THE CANADIAN PRAIRIES is just another name for winter. Oh, there's been some loose talk about spring coming,but not much to back it up. Cabin fever is rising...

Part IV: The Horizons of Home

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A Letter to a Young Trapper

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pp. 179-184

DEAR JOHNNY: It was mighty good to see you last Saturday, and I was pleased to hear your mom say that you were planning to go into wildlife...

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Poor Cousins

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pp. 185-190

IN THE FAMILY OF AMERICAN WILDLIFE, the game animal is the rich uncle. It is studied, managed, and greatly valued by professional conservationists and sportsmen...

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The Dragons Are Bigger Today

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pp. 191-198

MORE TIMES THAN WE CAN REMEMBER, we've been asked about hunting in the future. As game managers, our reply must weigh two basic variables: the amount of huntable game that the land produces..

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Something for the Kids

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pp. 199

THIS HAPPENED OUT THERE IN THE HIGH COUNTRY, which is about the only place it would happen, old field men being what they are. There are things that those jaspers...

E-ISBN-13: 9781587297359
E-ISBN-10: 1587297353
Print-ISBN-13: 9781587296888
Print-ISBN-10: 1587296888

Page Count: 218
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: paper